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Jane Austen
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Jane Austen

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Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility
Pride and Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Emma

 

 

 

 

The mistress of fiction in the pre-Victorian era, Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 at Steventon, Hampshire, England to Rev. George Austen and the former Cassandra Leigh. She was their seventh child and the second daughter. She was noted for her witty observations on the society which she woved in her novels, all of which were published anonymously. With meticulous detail, Austen painted a lucid picture of the quiet everyday life of the upper middle classes. She wrote about people among whom she lived in. Her lifetime companion and closest confidante was her elder sister, Cassandra.

Although Jane had no formal education, she was an extensive reader and by the time she reached her teens, was writing amusing parodies. She had two periods of fruitful literary activity. The first lasted from 1795 to 1798, when she wrote the earlier versions of Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. The second period lasted from 1811 to 1816 when her mastery of her craft deepened, and her works received recognition.

After her father's death in 1805, she moved with her family several times and eventually settled in Chawton, where she lived and wrote for the last eight years of her life. She died on July 18, 1817, at the age of 41.

Jane Austen - The Book

This omnibus edition has Austen's four famous novels: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma. Her works can be considered both as romantic comedy and social satire. Austen gives us a deep psychological insight into the English society of those times. Her characters and events are based on people and circumstances which she happened to observe in real life. In most of her novels, her characters correct their flaws as a result of some suffering.

In Sense and Sensibility, Austen makes the readers realize that sensibility, although wanted in all, should be balanced with good sense and judgment.

Pride and Prejudice, her undoubted magnum opus, centers around the Bennet family, and the Bennet daughters' search for suitable husbands. This novel displays that reality should precede appearance, and deliberations precede impulse while forming opinions. Elibeth relying on her impulses and the appearance of Fitzwilliam Darcy forms a negative opinion of him. During the course of time deliberation and reality changes her attitude and both end up getting married.

Mansfield Park introduces us to Fanny Price, an intelligent and sensitive girl who comes to live with her aunt, Lady and Sir Bertram, and her cousins. Patronized by three of her cousins, she ultimately finds a friend in Edmund, and marries him.

The central theme of Emma is self-deception and the heroine, Emma Woodhouse is a total personification of the theme. This novel describes the transformation of a domineering, self-centered meddler Emma, into a humbled woman ready for marriage, to the aptly named, Mr. Knightly.


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